Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait is expected to meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Wednesday. Tikait will discuss the strategy to further intensify the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new central farm laws, news agency ANI reported.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader will also congratulate Banerjee for her party Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) win in West Bengal Assembly elections. He had visited Bengal before the elections and campaigned for TMC.
He visited Nandigram, from where Banerjee was pitted against her protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari, and urged the locals to ditch Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and vote for the TMC. Adhikari was the BJP candidate from Nandigram and defeated Banerjee.
Tikait has been leading the protest against the Centre’s farm laws, demanding that the three acts be withdrawn. Various farmer groups have claimed that the Union government is paving the way for big companies to come to India which would ultimately sound the death-knell for small farmers and fishermen.
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Tikait, along with hundreds of protesters, has been camping near national capital Delhi since November last year protesting against the farm laws. The rise in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases impacted the farmers’ stir, but with the situation improving, the protesters want to intensify their movement.
Banerjee has been vocal against the new farm laws and gave her support to the farmers’ protest. Several leaders of her party visited the Delhi borders to show solidarity with the protesting farmers.
Despite several rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmer leaders last year, the deadlock remains.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.